Grafton stamps authority on competition from start
GRAFTON is in a dominant position after its first two matches in Far North Coast State League netball.
The withdrawal of last year's champions Lismore meant Grafton went into the competition, which started at Yamba on Sunday, as favourites. Before long it was easy to see why.
Grafton started its campaign with a flurry, recording a 65-22 win over Brunswick-Byron followed by an 89-15 drubbing of Casino.
It was just the start Brooke Burton was aiming for in her debut season as State League coach. The comfortable buffer in each game meant Burton was able to rotate her players and ensure plenty of game time for all team members.
"We've got a lot of new ladies in the squad this year and they have brought a lot of experience and court sense," Burton said.
"We were looking for a good blend of youth and experience and I think that played an advantage."
Grafton's shooting accuracy was exceptional, particularly against Casino with the likes of Heidi Dalton shooting at 95% accuracy for the match, Kellé Murphy in mid-court and Sarah Kitcher in defence.
Overall, Burton and manager Cathy Walls were pleased with the way the girls played but are expecting some tougher games in the next round.
"It looks like it will be a head-to-head battle with Ballina in the final this year," Burton said.
Grafton's two opponents on May 18 are Ballina and Lower Clarence. Those two played the season opener on Sunday morning with Ballina winning 52 to 33. Lower Clarence bounced back in the afternoon with a 47 to 17 win over Brunswick-Byron.
FAR NORTH COAST STATE LEAGUE
Ballina 52 Lower Clarence 33
Casino 43 Brunswick-Byron 18
Grafton 65 Brunswick-Byron 22
Ballina 69 Casino 27
Lower Clarence 47 Brunswick-Byron 17
Grafton 89 Casino 15